## Manhattan GMAT Challenge Problem of the Week – 13 August 2012

Here is a new Challenge Problem! If you want to win prizes, try entering our Challenge Problem Showdown. The more people that enter our challenge, the better the prizes!

## Question

Jean puts

Nidentical cubes, the sides of which are 1 inch long, inside a rectangular box, each side of which is longer than 1 inch, such that the box is completely filled with no gaps and no cubes left over. What isN?(1) 56 < N < 63

(2) N is a multiple of 3.A. Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient.

B. Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient.

C. BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.

D. EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.

E. Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data are needed.

## Answer

To be able to put *N* cubes into a rectangular box with no gaps and no left-over cubes, you must have the following equality: *N* = length × width × height. Moreover, if the length, width, and height are all greater than 1, then it must be true that *N* is the product of at least 3 primes. If *N* is itself prime or the product of just 2 primes (unique or not), then the condition fails.

So you can rephrase the question this way: is *N* the product of at least 3 primes?

Statement 1: SUFFICIENT. Since *N* must be an integer (it counts a set of objects), you can rephrase the statement: N is either 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, or 62. Now test each of these numbers.

57 = 3 × 19 = product of just 2 primes, so 57 is out.

58 = 2 × 29 = product of just 2 primes, so 58 is out.

59 is itself prime, so 59 is out.

60 = × 3 × 5 = product of 4 primes, so 60 can work. For instance, the dimensions of the box could be 4 by 3 by 5, or various other combinations of the primes.

61 is prime, so 61 is out.

62 = 2 × 31 = product of just 2 primes, so 62 is out.

Thus, the statement tells us that *N* must be 60.

Statement 2: NOT SUFFICIENT. It’s easy to come up with multiple examples that fit the conditions. For instance, we can reuse *N* = 60 (just be careful whenever you reuse a case from one statement in another statement), but then try *N* = 27 (= 3 × 3 × 3), which also fits. Many multiples of 3 can be legal values of *N*, so this statement is not enough.

**The correct answer is A.**

**Special Announcement:** If you want to win prizes for answering our Challenge Problems, try entering our Challenge Problem Showdown. Each week, we draw a winner from all the correct answers. The winner receives a number of our our Strategy Guides. The more people enter, the better the prize. Provided the winner gives consent, we will post his or her name on our Facebook page.

## 8 comments

Shane on August 13th, 2012 at 5:43 am

Why does N have to be the product of 3 primes?

Pravin on August 16th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Dear Shane,

Please let me know once u get ans to ur query..as I too have same query.

Siva on August 14th, 2012 at 2:10 am

N need not be product of 3 primes. But it has to be product of atleast 3 nos(length, width,height). So it has to be atleast product of 3 primes.

Pravin on August 16th, 2012 at 9:21 pm

why it is necessary that- lenght - width and height have to be prime numbers.

Pravin on August 16th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Shiva-

I think if lenght, width and height are any numbers then there will be multiple possibilities of data set and even "A" will not be correct choice

Jeremy Noel on August 17th, 2012 at 8:35 am

The answer has to be E -- there is no constraint set for l w h other than each is > 1. If the question had specified that l, w, h must by integers then sure, the answer is A.

navin on August 21st, 2012 at 9:25 am

I started with ather simple approach with the minimum number of cubes needed to arrange in a rectangular fashion with dimesnsions more than 1 inch on all sides. The minimum number of cubes required for such an arrangement is 8 and stacks can be added upon it(ofcourse the total number of cubes is always a multiple of 4). Given condition I, the only number fitting this situation is 60.

Ofcourse on the contrary the condition II doesn't fit at all.

Kalpana Sharma on August 23rd, 2012 at 12:22 am

Statement 1: The product has to be product of 3 numbers and none of those 3 numbers can be 1 because each of the lengths are > 1, therefore.

57 - 3*19*1 OUT

58 - 2*29*1 OUT

59 - 59*1*1 OUT

60 - 3*4*5 all sides greater than 1 and so this is a possibility

61 - 61*1*1 OUT

62 - 2*31*1 OUT..

Statement 2 : Too Open ended NSF!!

A alone is the answer.